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General KUTER. No, sir; I do not. I do believe, however, that the corollary advantage of those civil crews in civil employment is substantial.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, just one more moment with the cargo end of it. You do not recognize any possibilities of using airplanes for the carrying of passengers for commercial use, and then converting them to cargo? Would it be very simple to convert them to cargo carriers in time of emergency?
General KUTER. We do recognize the convertibility. It is practicable and reasonable, but it is not done quickly.
The CHAIRMAN. I imagine it is done very slowly when you are converting a cargo plane into a passenger plane, but when you are converting a passenger .plane into a cargo plane I should think all you would have to do is jerk out the seats and away you go, to a considerable extent, at least, especially if the trap doors have all been designed previously to be used in emergency.
I have two other questions which you may not want to answer for security reasons. They have been handed to me. I would not ask them myself, but I will ask them for the record, and if they do open any security matters, of course, we will expect you to handle that in your own way.
How many transport planes do you have and how many will you need in an emergency? If there are any security features there which you do not care to open up at the present time, you need not answer that.
Mr. LARKIN. I think we have heretofore given that in executive session, Mr. Chairman. I am afraid it remains classified. We would point it out again in the minutes of your executive session, or we will make sure that the committee is furnished with that.
The CHAIRMAN. The figures that you gave in executive session, do they still hold good today?
Mr. LARKIN. I think they are the latest analysis, yes. They were calculated as of November 1949, I believe, General? I don't believe there has been any change in the basic plan.
General KUTER. Based on the latest Joint Chiefs of Staff plan.
Mr. LARKIN. Which has not been superseded, so they would still be in effect.
The CHAIRMAN. I have an article here from the New York Times of May 2 by Austin Stevens, entitled “Planes Fall Short of Airlift Needs—Leaders of Exercise Swarmer say United States Craft Cannot Haul Modern Army Cargoes.”
I won't bother to read that to you now. Doubtless that has been called to your attention, but at the end of your testimony, if you have no objection, I would like to insert it in the record. I will hand it to you now, General, and if you have any comments on it after you look it over, we would be very pleased to have your comments on it.
General KUTER. Mr. Chairman, I am generally familiar with these articles, and I have been present at Operation Swarmer. This comment, and most comments on the inadequacies of the transport aircraft, are focused on requirements for specialized military transport, transport designed to carry and handle quickly and rapidly dense, heavy cargo. There definitely is a shortage of such aircraft in Operation Swarmer. Such aircraft are under procurement. Only one of the new C-1-24 type aircraft was present at Swarmer. These com
ments, however, are not directed toward the type of transport that we have been discussing here, the general-purpose cargo airplane as opposed to the specialized, heavy-load carrier for peculiar military equipment.
While the conclusions of Operation Swarmer have not yet been drawn, the exercise just terminating today, I certainly would notno one would quarrel with the contention that many more of the specialized military carriers could have been used to advantage in Operation Swarmer.
The CHAIRMAN. Then we will let that article go in with your remarks right at this point. (The article from the New York Times of May 2, 1950, follows:)
[From the New York Times, May 2, 1950) PLANES FALL SHORT OF AIRLIFT NEEDS—LEADERS OF EXERCISE SWARVER SAY UNITED STATES CRAFT CANNOT HAUL MODERN ARMY CARGOSS
(By Austin Stevens) SOUTHERN PINES, N. C., May 1—Leaders of Exercise Swarmer, the vast test of supplying troops entirely by air, have learned in the last 4 days that the Army requires in the field many odd-sized and awkward-to-handle equipment items that most of the Air Force's present planes were never built to handle.
This was not a complete surprise to maneuver commanders of this exercise, which in 11 days is attempting to capture within “enemy” lines an airhead and then, completely by air, to keep thousands of troops supplied and reinforced. The precedent for Exercise Swarmer was the Soviet blockade of Berlin, where United States planes worked endlessly to pile up high tonnages.
Today, which is D-day plus-three of the maneuver, an Air Force officer declared that it was plain that the “Army doesn't live by tonnages but by specific requirements.”
This remark illustrated the loss of efficiency of the 225 large aircraft flying this experimental “mass strategic airlift” because the bulk of them were not designed for the job.
GREAT LESSONS CITED The bulk of the aircraft shuttling today into Camp Mackall's airstrip and into the newly “captured” Pope Airfield at Fort Bragg are C-54's. They are augmented by troop-carrying aircraft of the C-82 and C-119 types.
Brig. Gen. William R. Wilfinbarger, commanding air task force Swarmer, said today that one of the “great lessons” of the maneuver had been the adaptation of present equipment to the loads being carried. Other lessons were cited in the findings in how troop carrier units and strategic cargo carriers could complement each other.
General Wolfinbarger and other high-ranking Army and Air Force officers are aware of the limitations of most of the planes being used here. If the study groups from the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff decide to develop the airlift technique as a war instrument, development of planes for the job will become of highest importance.
Seventy-eight hours after H-hour of D-day, planes operating from supply fields at Laurinburg-Maxton, N. C., and Greenville, S. C., had flown 1,147 trips into the airhead. Troops parachuted or landed by air totaled 16,762 and 9,502 tons of fighting equipment and supplies were on the ground. Landings have been made at the rate of one every 3 to 5 minutes.
TROOP SUPPLY DEVELOPS The emphasis of today's mass air shipments shifted from personnel and field equipment to the resupply of “friendly” troops. Tonight they were pushing steadily eastward to drive “aggressor” forces into a corner of the maneuver territory.
Thus far, the troops have remained on the rations and other basic items they carried in with them on their initial landings. However, now that the airlift is bringing trucks in, it is becoming possible to move supplies forward to the Eightysecond and Eleventh Airborne "friendly” forces.
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Meanwhile, "friendly" tactical planes theoretically bombed and strafed railheads and other points from which the "aggressor” force must be resupplied.
Maj. Gen. William H. Tunner, deputy commander to Lt. Gen. Luaris Norstad on the maneuver, said today that a new organization had been created within the command known as Swarmer Air Planning Agency. It will arrange priorities of equipment at depots.
He indicated that in the resupply operation the Air Force, handling more maneuverable cargoes, would step up the tonnage delivered daily. No acute shortages have developed, however, despite the early unloading difficulties and the fact that many planes traveled well below weight capacity because of the nature of the cargo.
The CHAIRMAN. As I understand it, you are going to submit to us some figures and statistics with respect to the accidents in national defense.
Mr. Larkin. We will be glad to if you would like to have that.
It is for these reasons—and I am referring back to the ones I just mentioned before that the Department of Defense, in its analysis of prototype aircraft plans, always conditioned its support of them on the clear understanding that Department of Defense funds cannot and would not be used.
Therefore, in the view of the Department of Defense, any prototype program was acceptable only if Department of Defense funds were not involved.
You will recall that former Secretary Symington informed this committee on January 30 that the Bureau of the Budget had decided "that legislation providing for the expenditure of Government funds for the development of prototype transport aircraft was not in accord with the program of the President." Mr. Symington further said that, for this reason, the Department of Defense will not support any prototype bill which provides for the design and development at Government expense. I believe this position covers the following bills: S. 237, S. 426, S. 2301, S. 2984, and S. 3507.
The remaining bill before you for consideration is S. 3504. In principle, this bill is similar to a bill which is sponsored by the Department of Commerce and which was considered in the Air Coordinating Committee. I believe the representative of the Department of Commerce will explain to you the provisions of this bill and the manner in which it would be administered. I think it is sufficient for me to say that it concerns itself with civil aviation and places responsibility in the civil aviation agencies of the Government. It provides for a limited and temporary program of operation and service testing of commercial prototypes, present-day commercial planes. The Department of Defense is not given any obligations or responsibilities under the bill, and it is, therefore, outside the purview of our operations and jurisdiction.
The Department of Defense does not find anything in this bill which interferes with any military operations or plans, and, through our representation in the Air Coordinating Committee, we have agreed to endorse it.
That, Mr. Chairman, summarizes our views and position on the different bills before you.
I shall be glad to try to answer any questions.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions by the committee? If not, we thank you very much, Mr. Larkin and General Kuter. We are glad to have you with us on this occasion.
We will now hear from Thomas W. S. Davis, Assistant Secretary of Commerce.
STATEMENT OF THOMAS W. S. DAVIS, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF
Mr. Davis. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the privilege of appearing before your committee and presenting the views of the Department of Commerce on S. 3504 relative to Government assistance in the development and testing of new commercial aircraft.
The Department of Commerce very strongly supports S. 3504 with certain amendments as spelled out in the letter which the Secretary of Commerce sent to your committee under date of May 4.
The CHAIRMAN. I will insert that letter in the record at this point, unless you have some objection.
Mr. Davis. I wish you would, sir.
(The letter from the Secretary of Commerce, dated May 4, 1950, follows:)
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,
Washington, D. C., May 4, 1950. Hon. Edwin C. JOHNSON, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This letter is in further reply to your request dated April 29, 1950, for the views of the Department concerning S. 3507, a bill to promote the development of improved transport aircraft by providing for the operation, testing, and modification thereof.
For the past few years there has been a keen awareness in aviation circles that some form of Federal assistance to aircraft manufacturers is necessary if the Nation is to retain its leadership in aircraft design. This view was expressed by both the President's Air Policy Commission and the Congressional Aviation Policy Board. This need is strikingly illustrated by the fact that none of the aircraft manufacturers who have developed the newer commercial transport aircraft have recovered their investment. Recently, both the Air Coordinating Committee and the Civil Aeronautics Board, in their reports for the calendar year 1949, expressed concern over the lack of new prototype development. The Administrator of Civil Aeronautics, in his statement on February 27, 1950, before the Committe on Interstate and Foreign Commerce of the House of Representatives expressed similar views. We believe S. 3504, if amended in accordance with recommendations made later, would provide the stimulation necessary to bring about this development without directly involving the Federal Government in the actual development of such aircraft.
S. 3504, as amended, would authorize the Secretary of Commerce to bear certain costs incident to the development of improved commercial transport aircraft, particularly turbine-powered aircraft and aircraft suitable for feeder-line operation. The costs would be limited to those arising out of testing in connection with type certification, flight operations simulating scheduled air transportation, and undertaking minor modifications found to be necessary during such tests periods and operation.
Legislation providing for the development of prototype transport aircraft under Government sponsorship was introduced in the Eightieth Congress and has been introduced in the Eighty-first Congress. These bills provide, in substantial effect, for the payment by the United States Government of the costs incident to the development of new prototype aircraft. S. 3504 differs from previous proposals in that it would result in less financial participation by the Government in developing the aircraft and in the maximum degree of private initiative and competition among the aircraft manufacturers. The aircraft manufacturers would bear the cost of developing the prototype during the draftingboard stage and during the actual initial production as well as the cost of subsequent major factory modifications. The Federal Government, through the Department of Commerce, would bear the costs of putting the prototype through the various tests to establish data relative to the costs of operation. It would also bear the costs of minor modifications found to be necessary during the course of the tests. Finally, when the aircraft is ready for type certification, it would bear the costs necessary to determine whether the aircraft meets the airworthiness
standards established in the civil air regulations which would include thorough testing under actual operating conditions. The manufacturer will bear a substantial part of the cost burden as well as the problems of introducing the aircraft on the market and promoting its use,
On the basis of informal advice, we have reason to believe that the industry would, in fact, develop the types of aircraft covered by the legislation if the Federal Government would bear the expenses of the activities described in the bill and outlined above. In our judgment the undertaking of these activities by the Government under authority of the bill would be a substantial assistance to the manufacturer. We also believe that by participating in the testing of the aircraft during the various stages of development, the Civil Aeronautics Administration will be in a better position to make the determinations it must make in issuing type certificates, will know what changes in air-navigation aids and civil airports will be necessary to accommodate the new type aircraft, and will be in an excellent position to advise the Civil Aeronautics Board regarding necessary changes in air traffic rules and other civil air regulations.
There are two other provisions of S. 3504 which I believe warrant your consideration. First, the bill provides for the development and testing of feeder aircraft. We believe there is an urgent need for such a development. Providing adequate air transportation service between relatively small areas of population and points which are served by the major air carriers is one of the largest remaining areas of new development in the entire air transportation industry. The Civil Aeronautics Board is currently fostering a program of feeder development through the use of single-engine aircraft under day-contact conditions. If this business develops larger and better equipped aircraft will be needed. The feeder type aircraft contemplated in our proposed program would be of the type suitable for all-weather operations and capable of carrying approximately 20 persons. Following the last war, several manufacturers initiated the design and development of feeder-type aircraft. However, these projects were dropped after considerable expenditure because of the expense of prosecuting the development work to conclusion. I feel that the initiation of a program leading to the development of feeder-type airplanes at this time will be of material benefit to the general public and to the aviation industry.
Secondly, you will note that the proposed legislation, if enacted, would authorize appropriations thereunder to remain available for expenditure or obligation until such time as the appropriation is expended. The unpredictability of the completion of the testing and modification program, which this legislation would authorize, makes it extremely difficult to formulate an accurate estimate as to the time which will be required for final development of prototype aircraft. It is further complicated by the fact that no accurate estimate can be given at this time as to when manufacturers will be able to complete the initial construction of aircraft which may be tested by the Administrator. However, while appropriations for the purposes of this legislation should remain available until expended for the reasons stated, nevertheless, such action should not be considered as establishing a permanent program. This is in fact a temporary program designed for the purpose of affording immediate relief to aircraft manufacturers so that they may develop advanced transport-type aircraft. As previously explained, manufacturers are reluctant and in some cases financially unable to obligate themselves for all the costs incident to the development of modern aircraft. I believe that this program, although temporary, will afford United States manufacturers the opportunity to retain their leadership in this field which otherwise might become irrevocably lost.
In summary, we believe that enactment of this proposal would promote the development of commercial transport aircraft with a minimum expenditure by the Government and under conditions which would result in maximum freedom for the aircraft manufacturers.
This proposal has the approval of the membership of the Air Coordinating Committee. I have been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that its enactment, if amended in accordance with the recommendations made below, would be in accord with the program of the President.
We recommend the following amendments:
1. Insert the word "commercial” between the words "improved” and “transport” in both the title of the bill and its statement of policy.
2. In section 2 (a) of the bill change “Administrator of Civil Aeronautics" to "Secretary of Commerce” and make corresponding changes in other sections of the bill.